Mike Bogle’s son wasn’t sure that he wanted to go fishing with his dad, but their trip turned into a memorable bonding experience for both father and son
Not too long ago, I took my family (wife, daughter, and son) down to Florida. The agenda called for two days of college visits for my daughter (16), followed by a couple days of R & R at a beach-side resort. As luck would have it (wink-wink), the beach-side resort was located a stone’s throw from a marina that I fish out of frequently. I asked the family if anyone would want to go out with me one day to fish. I got three blank stares in response. “Well,” I said, “I’m going out anyway, so if anyone wants to come along, you are welcome to.” Still nothing. I really wanted my son (13) to come with me, but I needed to find the right bait to lure him in with (see what I did there?). I informed him that on the day I was going fishing, his mom and sister were scheming for a spa day, and if he didn’t want to get stuck having a mani-pedi, he should come hang with me. Bingo! I had a fishing buddy.
Now I should preface the rest of the story with the disclosure that I would have been perfectly happy fishing by myself (with my guide, who is the cat’s ass of fishing guides), but I thought it would be cool to introduce my son to big-water fishing, and maybe do a little bonding along the way. My son is not the most open of boys—a typical teenager, I guess—but I think we have a pretty decent relationship. Maybe some time on the water would strengthen that a bit.
Our target fish for the trip were Spanish and King Mackerel, and they were currently running one to three miles from the shore. So we would have a little bit of a ride before we could get our lures in the water. Being a motorhead, my son immediately wanted to talk to Captain Steve about the boat—engine size, maximum speed, knots vs. mph, etc. So that was a good start.
Once we began fishing, he and I were able to find a conversational rhythm, bouncing between fishing, the weather (it was a beautiful day), and being in Florida. Soon the bite was on, and I have to say, he was a natural, working the trolling lines and landing the fish. I’d like to think a little of that talent was genetic…
When we were back at the dock and able to total up our catch, well… let’s just say it was a very good trip. The picture above is of our two biggest fish. We were able to eat fresh fish for dinner, with the rest of the catch going to a shelter for abused women. (Captain Steve regularly donates there.) The best part, for me anyway, came when my wife asked my son at dinner if he enjoyed himself. He said it was one of his best days ever. He’s a smart kid, but if asked, he probably couldn’t articulate why it was his best day. I asked him then if that meant he was ready to start coming with me on my semi-annual fishing trips. “Absolutely, Dad” was his reply… and he thinks we’re just fishing…
(Credit to Trace Adkins for use of the line “we’re just fishin.”)
Article originally appeared on Bluewater Tales & Musings; Image courtesy of the author.